Newcastle Rugby League: Minor premiers Western Suburbs "off" in grand final

DEJECTED: Western Suburbs players after their 24-6 loss to Macquarie in Saturday's grand final. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
DEJECTED: Western Suburbs players after their 24-6 loss to Macquarie in Saturday's grand final. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Western Suburbs had been close to perfect in 2017.

Countless numbers of clinical performances, a Newcastle Rugby League presentation clean sweep, an average 33-13 weekly for-and-against record, runaway minor premiers and dropping just two games along the way to Saturday’s decider.  

But it all unraveled when it mattered most in a 24-6 boilover to Macquarie at McDonald Jones Stadium.

“Grand finals are hard to win and I don’t think it was a matter of us not handling the occasion at all,” Lantry said.

“It was just the fact that we were off. We saved one of our worst performances until the big day.”

INJURED: Chad Redman

INJURED: Chad Redman

Constant errors ultimately proved costly for the Rosellas, especially when trying to chase the Scorpions in the second half.

With 11 minutes remaining Wests prop Warren Schillings was put on report for a swinging arm on Macquarie centre Nathan Cantor. 

Shortly after Rosellas hooker Chad Redman left the field with a dislocated shoulder.

After the game Wests captain Mark Taufua, 36 next month, said he would “wait and see” before making a decision about playing in 2018.